Help me find some experimental radio
January 10, 2011 8:17 AM   Subscribe

Do you know some strange experimental radio?

I'd like to know some experimental radio, current and from the past, ideally that I could find and listen online. A Google search for "experimental radio" yields only conventional shows that play experimental music.

I am looking for shows that challenge the conventional formats of radio language, in its main genres: news, talk show, music show, doc, drama, and comedy. Something like radio art, but also just random experimentation that doesn't quite fit any genre, or it's "crazy" or "strange," even when it doesn't aspire to be art. Podcasts are of course welcome.

It would be cool if the shows/radio things are actually interesting and fun.

posted by TheGoodBlood to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Resonance might fit the bill.
posted by ninebelow at 8:28 AM on January 10, 2011

This is my spouse's podcast which I think might fit the bill. It grew out of the ashes of our experimental radio show of years ago.

I still miss Incorrect Music.
posted by wingless_angel at 8:33 AM on January 10, 2011

Resonance is good. Also, as an old programme that's available to download/stream, there's Blue Jam.

“Blue Jam” was broadcast in the small hours of the morning, but even here Morris was not safe from the attentions of the censors, and the final show of the initial run of six episodes was faded out after just fifteen minutes when Radio 1 panicked over his re-editing of The Archbishop Of Canterbury's speech from the funeral of The Princess Of Wales (rumours persist that Morris was told this could not be broadcast, but surreptitiously swapped the tapes at the last minute).
posted by Hartster at 8:37 AM on January 10, 2011

The SubGenius Hour of Slack!
posted by moonmilk at 8:38 AM on January 10, 2011

You know about Joe Frank, right?
posted by neroli at 8:44 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

KTRU in Houston fits the bill for many, many, many of its programming hours. Too bad its under attack.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 8:47 AM on January 10, 2011

It wasn't really a show, and it's no longer active, but Eigenradio was pretty weird and experimental.

Link with description

Previous question
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:05 AM on January 10, 2011

Every Friday at 7 PM (I believe), WMBR in Cambridge - that's the MIT station - has a show called Music For Human Beings.

There are a few things about this which are fascinating. One is that they barely play any music, it's mostly in a call-in / talk format.

It is ostensibly a show devoted to New Age topics: chakra, meditation, Wicca, astrology, et cetera.

What sets it apart from others of the same kind is that I am almost positive the show is one colossal joke and that they are actually just sort of in there trying to make each other laugh. The show was hosted at first by a man who claimed his name was Arthur Rainbowbeam. The new host is Dr. Jalis As-Sakran. I first heard him while driving home one night - he was talking about how he has abandoned traditional vegetarianism or even veganism and now he only eats animals which are dumber than he is. His method is to accuse the animal of some crime, and if it won't or can't defend itself cogently, he considers it okay to eat. I nearly swerved off the road, I was laughing so hard.

Their website should eliminate any doubt that it is a hoax, sort of thing, but what consistently amazes me is that they have never dropped the act, not for an inch, not once. There is no tell-all anywhere, no blog to indicate the mechanism behind the giant put-on. They get together in the studio for an hour every week and pretend to be New Age weirdos and they have not broken character once, and they've been doing this since 2007 at least. That, to me, is almost weirder than if they were entirely on the level.

If you're not in the Boston area you can listen to their archives on their website or on - though WMBR only has the two most recent shows at any given time.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:14 AM on January 10, 2011 [7 favorites]

Not entirely sure this would fit your definition, but The Mischke Broadcast is worth checking out.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:18 AM on January 10, 2011

The Night Air sounds EXACTLY like what you're looking for. You can subscribe the podcast in the Zune Marketplace or iTunes (I think).
posted by KingEdRa at 10:49 AM on January 10, 2011

Perhaps this isn't too experimental, but Radio Lab certainly is unconventional show about hard science, philosophical and sociological topics. There's lots of overlapping dialog, relevant background cues and what I best can describe as "audiolization" (think visualization but with only audio) of real-world phenomenons.
posted by mmascolino at 10:50 AM on January 10, 2011

Response by poster: That's incredible, people, thanks! It's a bit overwhelming, but I'll try to get a bunch of this stuff to listen to.

Also, if anyone can recommend particular episodes/pieces of notice of these and other shows and radio stations, it would help in my quest!
posted by TheGoodBlood at 12:08 PM on January 10, 2011

Seven Second Delay with Ken and Andy on WFMU
- A good example is where they spent the hour listening to themselves on the radio (with a delay) repeating what they heard or the episode. The shows typically are more humorous experimentation.

2nding Joe Frank. Affiliates list here. Joe charges for archives of past shows, but on Sunday's you can hear 2 or 3 hours of streaming starting with WNYC (11p EST), then WBEZ (11p CST), then KPFA (9p PST).

Other Experimental WFMU shows worth checking out: The Best Show on WFMU (humor) or Kenny G's Hour of Pain (Avant-Garde)

Negativland has a show on KPFA called Over the Edge they have been doing since 1981. Some of it available on CD/Cassette such as my favorite: JAMCON'84
posted by wcfields at 12:24 PM on January 10, 2011

PHIL HENDRIE is currently on KFI in Los Angeles again. His show may fit the bill for you. It's not quite Dada - but he's a talented guy. There's also old programs on his website and around the 'tubes.
posted by Kloryne at 4:44 PM on January 10, 2011

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